Health Board Approves Coordination of Firearm Surrender in Domestic Violence Situations

SEATTLE – Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw and Metropolitan King County Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowski introduced a resolution to the Seattle-King County Board of Health today to call for a coordinated local response to improve King County’s compliance with State law that requires domestic violence offenders surrender their firearms when they have protection orders issued against them. The Board approved the resolution unanimously. Early this year, the Councilmembers learned of inconsistencies in the implementation of the law in King County, which led to a coordinated approach through the Board of Health today.

In 2014, Governor Inslee signed HB 1840, requiring domestic violence perpetrators who are subject to no-contact orders, protection orders, and restraining orders to temporarily surrender their firearms or other dangerous weapons. Recently, a review found that, in a 3 month timeframe in 2015, of the 94 cases where an affidavit of surrender (or non-surrender) was due to the court, only 12 respondents complied with filing the required declaration.

“We need a centralized coordinator to set up internal infrastructure to automate the surrender process.  We’re now seeking funds to hire a Program Coordinator to create unified protocols and processes for temporary removal of firearms in domestic violence situations” said Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Vice Chair of the Board of Health.  “Recognizing we must act together as a County and a City to improve the safety of domestic violence survivors, I have collaborated with our King County Prosecuting Attorney, the Chief of the Seattle Police Department, and with the Director of Seattle-King County Public Health, and I’m thankful how generous, engaging and compassionate they’ve all been.”

“Our legislature passed a great law, but there is much more we should be doing in King County to implement it,” said King County Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowksi, Chair of the Board of Health. “Roughly one-quarter of abusers who kill their spouses had been served with a protection order. Today’s action will strengthen our commitment to remove firearms from abusers who are subject to no-contact orders, protection orders, and restraining orders. Plain and simple, this action will save lives.”

As a coordinated approach is developed, all parties will affirmatively utilize a race and social justice lens by including stakeholders from racial and ethnic communities disparately impacted by domestic violence.

In Washington State, domestic violence homicide perpetrators use guns more often than all other weapons combined, according to the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than are women in other high income countries.

“The law allows courts to remove firearms from situations of chronic domestic violence because research shows that women are five times more likely to be murdered when guns are in the home,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg. “Building a seamless process to give effect to those judicial orders is the single most important thing we can do this year to save lives in King County,” he added.

Health Board Approves Coordination of Firearm Surrender in Domestic Violence Situations

SEATTLE – Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw and Metropolitan King County Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowski introduced a resolution to the Seattle-King County Board of Health today to call for a coordinated local response to improve King County’s compliance with State law that requires domestic violence offenders surrender their firearms when they have protection orders issued against them. The Board approved the resolution unanimously. Early this year, the Councilmembers learned of inconsistencies in the implementation of the law in King County, which led to a coordinated approach through the Board of Health today.

In 2014, Governor Inslee signed HB 1840, requiring domestic violence perpetrators who are subject to no-contact orders, protection orders, and restraining orders to temporarily surrender their firearms or other dangerous weapons. Recently, a review found that, in a 3 month timeframe in 2015, of the 94 cases where an affidavit of surrender (or non-surrender) was due to the court, only 12 respondents complied with filing the required declaration.

“We need a centralized coordinator to set up internal infrastructure to automate the surrender process.  We’re now seeking funds to hire a Program Coordinator to create unified protocols and processes for temporary removal of firearms in domestic violence situations” said Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Vice Chair of the Board of Health.  “Recognizing we must act together as a County and a City to improve the safety of domestic violence survivors, I have collaborated with our King County Prosecuting Attorney, the Chief of the Seattle Police Department, and with the Director of Seattle-King County Public Health, and I’m thankful how generous, engaging and compassionate they’ve all been.”

“Our legislature passed a great law, but there is much more we should be doing in King County to implement it,” said King County Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowksi, Chair of the Board of Health. “Roughly one-quarter of abusers who kill their spouses had been served with a protection order. Today’s action will strengthen our commitment to remove firearms from abusers who are subject to no-contact orders, protection orders, and restraining orders. Plain and simple, this action will save lives.”

As a coordinated approach is developed, all parties will affirmatively utilize a race and social justice lens by including stakeholders from racial and ethnic communities disparately impacted by domestic violence.

In Washington State, domestic violence homicide perpetrators use guns more often than all other weapons combined, according to the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than are women in other high income countries.

“The law allows courts to remove firearms from situations of chronic domestic violence because research shows that women are five times more likely to be murdered when guns are in the home,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg. “Building a seamless process to give effect to those judicial orders is the single most important thing we can do this year to save lives in King County,” he added.

Seattle City Council Announces 2016 Committee Assignments

Seattle City Council Announces 2016 Committee Assignments

Councilmembers to elect Council President and assign committees on January 4, 2016

SEATTLESeattle City Council announced its tentative plan for committee assignments today, in preparation for work in 2016. Each Councilmember is responsible for chairing a Council committee and managing legislation related to the committee’s focus. Councilmembers also serve as a vice-chair on one committee and as a member on another. Councilmembers can also sponsor legislation on other committees under certain conditions. Committee assignments are made official at the first Full Council meeting of the year, on Monday January 4, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. Councilmembers will also elect their 2016-17 Council President at the meeting. Committee assignments last for two years.

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw will chair the Human Services and Public Health Committee. Councilmember Bagshaw will oversee Council’s work on issues relating to services provided by the Human Services Department, including programs that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community. The committee will also consider matters involving public health and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), which allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or prostitution activity to community-based services.

Councilmember Tim Burgess will chair the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee. As chair of this committee, Councilmember Burgess will focus on issues relating to housing-investing and promoting the development and preservation of affordable housing, and building strong neighborhoods through outreach and engagement. Councilmember Burgess will also chair the Budget committee, overseeing the review of the Mayor’s proposed budget.

Councilmember Lorena González will chair the Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee. As chair, Councilmember González will consider policies to address gender equity and help improve the lives of Seattle’s immigrant and refugee residents.  The committee will also focus on fostering safe communities, improving police accountability, crime prevention, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, and fire and medical services.

Councilmember Bruce Harrell will chair the Education, Equity and Governance Committee. As chair, Councilmember Harrell will focus on issues relating to public schools and improving student success rates, intergovernmental relations, technology, ethics and elections, prisoner reentry and equity issues for underserved communities.

Councilmember Lisa Herbold will chair the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee. Councilmember Herbold’s committee will manage issues relating to labor standards, civil rights, Seattle Public Utilities, and economic development. The committee will also manage issues relating to arts and culture in Seattle, which includes nightlife issues.

Councilmember Rob Johnson will chair the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee. As chair of this committee, Councilmember Johnson will take up issues involving City zoning, planning, major institutions, quasi-judicial decisions, community development, and land use regulations.

Councilmember Debora Juarez will chair the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee. As chair, Councilmember Juarez will focus on issues relating to City parks, community centers, and public grounds, including the Seattle Center.  Her committee will also manage legislation relating to the Seattle Public Library system.  Councilmember Juarez will also chair the Central Waterfront committee.

Councilmember Mike O’Brien will chair the Sustainability and Transportation Committee. Councilmember O’Brien’s committee will handle matters pertaining to city-wide and regional transportation policy and planning. These issues range from pedestrian and bicycle programs, traffic control and parking policies, and overseeing the City’s coordination with regional and state departments of transportation. The committee will also have a shared-focus on Seattle’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant will chair the Energy and Environment Committee. Councilmember Sawant’s committee will handle policies relating to Seattle’s energy usage, as well as issues relating to alternative energy sources, air pollution regulation, energy utility rates, and Seattle City Light finances. In addition, Councilmember Sawant will take up matters that relate to climate and environmental protections, conservation programs, and green infrastructure.

 

Standing Committee

Committee Members

Committee Meeting Days and Times

Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods & Finance

Chair:  Tim Burgess
Vice-Chair:  Lisa Herbold
Member:  Rob Johnson
Alternate:  Mike O’Brien

1st and 3rd Wednesdays
9:30 a.m.

Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development & Arts

Chair:  Lisa Herbold
Vice-Chair:  Kshama Sawant
Member:  Mike O’Brien
Alternate:  Bruce Harrell

2nd and 4th Tuesdays
9:30 a.m.

Education, Equity & Governance

Chair:  Bruce A. Harrell
Vice-Chair:  Lorena González
Member:  Debora Juarez
Alternate:  Tim Burgess

1st and 3rd Wednesdays
2:00 p.m.

Energy & Environment

Chair:  Kshama Sawant
Vice-Chair:  Debora Juarez
Member:  Lorena González
Alternate:  Sally Bagshaw

2nd and 4th Tuesdays
2:00 p.m.

Gender Equity, Safe Communities & New Americans

Chair:  Lorena González
Vice-Chair:  Tim Burgess
Member:  Sally Bagshaw
Alternate:  Debora Juarez

2nd and 4th Wednesdays
9:30 a.m.

Human Services & Public Health

Chair:  Sally Bagshaw
Vice-Chair:  Bruce Harrell
Member:  Tim Burgess
Alternate:  Rob Johnson

2nd and 4th Wednesdays
2:00 p.m.

Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries & Waterfront

Chair:  Debora Juarez
Vice-Chair:  Sally Bagshaw
Member:  Bruce Harrell
Alternate:  Kshama Sawant

1st and 3rd Thursdays
9:30 a.m.

Planning, Land Use & Zoning

Chair:  Rob Johnson
Vice-Chair:  Mike O’Brien
Member:  Lisa Herbold
Alternate:  Lorena González

1st and 3rd Tuesdays
9:30 a.m.

Sustainability & Transportation

Chair:  Mike O’Brien
Vice-Chair:  Rob Johnson
Member:  Kshama Sawant
Alternate:  Lisa Herbold

1st and 3rd Tuesdays 2:00 p.m.

                         
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City Council Approves $15/hour Minimum Wage in Seattle


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/2/2014

Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Council President Tim Burgess
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Councilmember Kshama Sawant

City Council Approves $15/hour Minimum Wage in Seattle
Historic vote addresses income inequality

SEATTLESeattle City Council unanimously approved the adoption of a $15 per hour minimum wage today, making Seattle the first major city in America to take such an action to address income inequality. Beginning April 1, 2015, the legislation will phase-in a $15 per hour minimum wage annually over 3 to 7 years, depending on employer size.

“Today we answer President Obama’s call and the moral call to address the plight of low wage workers,” said Councilmember Sally J. Clark, chair of the City Council’s Select Committee on the Minimum Wage and Income Inequality. “Seattle’s new law puts low wage workers on a path to $15 and does it in a way that respects Seattle’s love for local businesses and world-leading innovation.”

Twenty-four percent of Seattle workers earn hourly wages of $15 per hour or less, and approximately 13.6 percent of the Seattle community lives below the federal poverty level, according to a University of Washington study. Washington State’s minimum wage is currently $9.32 per hour. Effective April 1, 2015, the minimum wage in Seattle will be $10.00 or $11.00 per hour depending on employer size. A chart illustrating the subsequent annual minimum wage increase based on employer size is available here.

“With inaction at the state and national levels, it’s time for cities to demonstrate bold and necessary leadership to address income inequality,” said Council President Tim Burgess. “Seattle has found a workable and careful compromise that recognizes both the harm caused by stagnant wages and the harm to local businesses should we move forward too quickly.”

Mayor Ed Murray forwarded a proposal to the City Council after it had been developed by a stakeholder group, which included representatives of Seattle’s business, labor and non-profit communities and three councilmembers. The Seattle City Council, reviewed relevant studies, held public forums for feedback, hosted industry-specific discussions, considered the Mayor’s proposal and heard thousands of community comments over the first half of 2014.

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said, “In the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, ‘The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.’ Today, we have made true progress so people can work and live in our city.”

“Today is an unprecedented step forward for working families in Seattle,” said Councilmember Jean Godden. “Especially for women who tend to make up more than half of low wage workers, a higher minimum wage is a powerful tool to reduce income inequality based on gender.”

“This is a historic moment: the culmination of workers banding together over a year ago to raise the national debate on income inequality. Seattle listened and today, we are acting to help workers earn a living wage,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “This is one of the most important race and social justice-related legislation enacted, most positively impacting people of color, women and immigrants. We must continue working with small businesses and the ethnic minority community to support their growth and help them succeed.”

“Council’s next critical step is to legislate the enforcement of this new law with the creation of an Office of Labor Standards Enforcement,” said Councilmember Nick Licata. “Responsible businesses who follow the law must not be at a competitive disadvantage with those businesses not administering fair labor practices.”

“I am honored to cast my vote today in support of the tens of thousands of working people in Seattle who are about to get a much needed raise,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “Almost a year ago to the day, I escorted fast food workers back to their jobs to ensure they would not face retaliation for striking for better pay, and thanks to the movement they started we are making history today.”

“This legislation sends a message heard around the world: Seattle wants to stop the race to the bottom in wages and that we deplore the growth in income inequality and the widening gap between the rich and the poor,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

“This is a victory for our movement – it shows the power of working people when we organize and fight for our rights,” said Councilmember Kshama Sawant. “It will inspire millions of people all over the nation to build on this historic step forward. Fifteen in Seattle is just the beginning.”

The legislation will take effect thirty days after Mayor Ed Murray signs the legislation into law. Seattle has a population of approximately 634,535 in 2012, according to the United States Census and is approximately 84 square miles in land area.

[View in Council Newsroom]

Councilmembers Rasmussen, O’Brien, Bagshaw Pledge to Give Seattle Voters Chance to Save Transit Service


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/9/2014

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Councilmembers Rasmussen, O’Brien, Bagshaw Pledge to Give Seattle Voters Chance to Save Transit Service

SeattleCouncilmembers Tom Rasmussen, Mike O’Brien and Sally Bagshaw issued the following statement today:

"Metro bus service is critical to the people of Seattle. It is necessary for those who cannot afford cars and depend on buses to get around. It is essential for our environment that people have multiple options for mobility and it is essential to reducing traffic congestion as well. Too many buses in the city are at capacity, and with ridership at an all-time high we simply cannot afford to lose bus service.

"Seattle voters deserve a chance to preserve bus service in the city and we are committed to giving them that opportunity in November. We are exploring every option available to keep the busses running in Seattle in cooperation with our colleagues on the City Council and Mayor Ed Murray. We are also committed to working with King County Metro and cities in our region to ensure that we preserve and build a strong regional transit system.

"We commend Mayor Murray for his leadership in developing a proposal, which will be released next week. We also commend Keep Seattle Moving for keeping public momentum going to ensure we do not lose the bus service we so critically need in Seattle.

"On Monday, May 19 we will have a briefing in City Council Chambers at 9:30 a.m. to learn more about the impacts of the potential loss of bus service in the City and to learn more about the Mayor’s proposal. We will convene additional City Council meetings as needed throughout the summer to develop a proposal to send to the voters for the November ballot."

Editor’s note: The City’s deadline for submitting a ballot measure to King County Elections for the November election is August 5, 2014.

[View in Council Newsroom]